Friday, June 15, 2018

An Open Letter to an Angry Correspondent

Here’s a Don Boudreaux letter to an increasingly angry correspondent Nolan McKinney:
You’re correct that many Americans share what you describe as “deep admiration, respect and pride in President Trump’s tough stance on negotiating trade with China.” Yet these fine feelings about Mr. Trump’s “tough stance” spring from a profound misunderstanding.
What’s so admirable and respectable about one man – Trump – officiously overriding many of the trading decisions that you, me, and each of our fellow Americans individually choose to make with Chinese suppliers? I neither admire nor respect anyone who presumes, as Pres. Trump routinely does, to obstruct trade between two consenting adults. And rather than swell with pride when someone impedes my ability to trade, I burn with anger.
Trump’s ‘toughness’ is exercised most directly against his fellow Americans who are guilty of nothing more sinister than choosing to spend their incomes in ways that they judge to best improve their standards of living. And his ‘toughness’ confers on a handful of American producers special privileges that are sought only by cowards who possess not a jot of the true grit and toughness necessary to succeed honorably in the competitive market.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.

1 comment:

  1. I love these simplified views of global corporate wrangling. What would you have this country do when companies actively and intentionally screw over the people that they want to force to buy their products made abroad in unregulated sweat shop environments that in no way compete with anyone else in the real world economic landscape.

    China can subsidize and make anything as cheap as they want to and let US companies exploit creating it in this no-competition environment for a benefit to their GDP or their oligarchy and throw scraps to the masses who never had anything to begin with.

    Trump is not savvy enough to realize this should not be tariff oriented but it should be a penalization of the multinational that exploits these impossibly matched economic environments.

    If you make something elsewhere you pay a premium to sell it here. if you make it here you dont ... seems like a better option then all the black and white economic crap I see lately. This issue is not cut and dry ... there are layers someone needs to be screwed and not us ...